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The Clouds   


SOCRATES
But, wretched man, the last two are not masculine.
STREPSIADES
You do not count them as masculine?
SOCRATES
Not at all. If you met Amynias, how would you hail him?
STREPSIADES
How? Why, I should shout, "Hi, there, Amynia!
SOCRATES
Do you see? it's a female name that you give him.
STREPSIADES
And is it not rightly done, since he refuses military service? But
what use is there in learning what we all know?
SOCRATES
You know nothing about it. Come, lie down there.
STREPSIADES
What for?
SOCRATES
Ponder awhile over matters that interest you.
STREPSIADES
Oh! I pray you, not there but, if I must lie down and ponder,
let me lie on the ground.
SOCRATES
That's out of the question. Come! on the couch!
STREPSIADES (as he lies down)
What cruel fate! What a torture the bugs will this day put me to!
(Socrates turns aside.)
CHORUS (singing)
Ponder and examine closely, gather your thoughts together, let
your mind turn to every side of things; if you meet with a difficulty,
spring quickly to some other idea; above all, keep your eyes away from
all gentle sleep.
STREPSIADES (singing)
Ow, Wow, Wow, Wow is me!
CHORUS (singing)
What ails you? why do you cry so?
STREPSIADES
Oh! I am a dead man! Here are these cursed Corinthians advancing
upon me from all corners of the couch; they are biting me, they are
gnawing at my sides, they are drinking all my blood, they are
yanking of my balls, they are digging into my arse, they are killing
me!
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Not so much wailing and clamour, if you please.
STREPSIADES
How can I obey? I have lost my money and my complexion, my blood
and my slippers, and to cap my misery, I must keep awake on this
couch, when scarce a breath of life is left in me.
(A brief interval of silence ensues.)
SOCRATES
Well now! what are you doing? are you reflecting?
STREPSIADES
Yes, by Posidon!
SOCRATES
What about?
STREPSIADES
Whether the bugs will entirely devour me.
SOCRATES
May death seize you, accursed man!
(He turns aside again.)
STREPSIADES
Ah it has already.
SOCRATES
Come, no giving way! Cover up your head; the thing to do is to

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